The role and function of town centres is once again shifting, with high streets across Greater Manchester (GM) now the focus of renewed investment towards the rediscovery of placemaking, socialising and learning. Art and creativity have a crucial role to play in innovative place-based strategies through different schemes such as the Future High Street Fund and Heritage Action Zones.
Linking to other local priorities, the GM Digital Strategy sets out to facilitate a region “with a difference and drive real change together… geographically, socially and economically.” For young people in particular, the strategy aims to build digital engagement and skills, and demonstrate the role of digital arts in priority areas across the region.
Therefore, how can we consider the role of young people across GM in placemaking whilst impacting their digital skills? How can we create a pandemic-proof opportunity that amplifies young people’s voices using digital art, putting their visions about the future of their towns at its centre, and empower them to influence decisions made about their high streets?